Trilogy (The Weeknd album)

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Trilogy
Trilogy by The Weeknd.png
Compilation album by The Weeknd
Released 13 November 2012 (2012-11-13)
Studio
  • Dream House
  • Site Sound Studios
  • Sterling Road Studios
  • Liberty Studios, Toronto
Genre Alternative R&B[1]
Length 159:35
Label
Producer
The Weeknd chronology
Echoes of Silence
(2011)
Trilogy
(2012)
Kiss Land
(2013)
Singles from Trilogy
  1. "Wicked Games"
    Released: 22 October 2012
  2. "Twenty Eight"
    Released: 13 November 2012
  3. "The Zone"
    Released: 16 November 2012

Trilogy is a compilation album by Canadian singer The Weeknd, released on 13 November 2012, by XO and Republic Records. It is composed of re-mixed and remastered versions of his 2011 mixtapes House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence, and three previously-unreleased songs.

Trilogy received generally positive reviews from critics, who reinforced the previous acclaim of the mixtapes, although some found it indulgent. It was promoted with three singles and The Weeknd's concert tour during September to November 2012. The album charted at number five and number four in Canada and the United States, respectively.

Background[edit]

During 2011, The Weeknd released a series of mixtapes—House of Balloons, Thursday and Echoes of Silence[2] and garnered both critical acclaim and a growing fan base.[3] The mixtapes were principally recorded with producers Doc McKinney and Illangelo,[4] at Dream House and Site Sound Studios in Toronto; additional sessions took place at Sterling Road Studios.[5] The Weeknd released the mixtapes online as free digital downloads.[2]

In September 2012, The Weeknd signed with Republic Records in a joint venture with his own imprint label XO.[6] The mixtapes were subsequently remastered and compiled for Trilogy, along with three previously unreleased songs,[3] which were recorded at Liberty Studios in Toronto.[5] "Twenty Eight", "Valerie", and "Til Dawn (Here Comes the Sun)" were included as bonus tracks at the end of each of the compilation's discs.[7]

To re-release the mixtapes' music for retail, The Weeknd had to obtain clearance from the recording artists he had originally sampled for certain songs, including Beach House for "The Party & the After Party" and Siouxsie and the Banshees on "House of Balloons / Glass Table Girls"; the sample of Aaliyah's "Rock the Boat" on "What You Need" was excluded from Trilogy.[6]

Promotion[edit]

A video accompanying the track "Rolling Stone" was released on 3 October 2012, to promote the album's release.[8] The Weeknd previewed the album at a listening party in New York City on 24 October. It was his first major media event.[9] According to music magazine NME's website, in an open letter to his fans The Weeknd posted on his website in regards to the "Rolling Stone" video, "Because I am a man of few words, I chose to make a viral video to show you how I felt and where I stand. I usually don't like to 'spoon feed' my audience because I grew up idolising story tellers who tell stories using symbolism, so it was in my nature to do the same. The "Rolling Stone" video takes place in a dimly lit studio which represents the two worlds I have been stuck in. The gloomy side represents the mainstream world while the other side represents the underground. The girl holding on represents you."[10]

The video for his first official single from Trilogy, a revamped version of "Wicked Games", was released just weeks later on 18 October 2012, again through his website.[11] Chris Martins of Spin describes the video, "The clip is almost a sequel to the similarly shot "Rolling Stone" video, wherein a woman draped over the singer's back mysteriously disappears by the song's end. This time, the shot opens on a dancing, purse-lipped model type, but her shadow soon vamps away from her body, and torments Tesfaye until the track's end."[12]

The album's lead single "Wicked Games" was released on 22 October 2012.[13] It charted at number 43 on the Canadian Hot 100, and in the United States, it reached number 53 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 13 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.[14]

His fourth video release, and third to promote Trilogy, is a collaboration with fellow Toronto musician, rapper Drake. This video had been rumoured for months and was a popular track given the collaboration of OVOXO, a crew formed by Drake and The Weeknd.[15] The video was released 7 November 2012, and is described by music blog Pretty Much Amazing's review as having "a lot of camera obscura effects, a forest of multicolored balloons, lens flare that would make J. J. Abrams jealous, a woman dancing in lace lingerie, and Drake. It's a fitting video – its film noir, Twin Peaks-y vibe perfectly matches the track's subtle sexy-creepy energy."[16]

The second single "Twenty Eight" was released on 13 November.[17] The Weeknd toured in support of Trilogy during September to November 2012.[6] "The Zone" was released as the album's third and final single three days later.[18]

With Trilogy now on iTunes and in-stores, The Weeknd turned to his fifth official video, one of his three new releases from his debut, "Twenty Eight". Dropped on 13 February 2013, and directed by up-and-coming visionary Nabil Elderkin (some may notice similarities to Frank Ocean's "Pyramids" video which he also directed).[19] Simren Bolaria of music blog Earmilk, describes the video, "A long way from his former faceless, anti-media Internet persona, a distracted Abel Tesfaye sits down for a grey and dreary television interview with a foreign journalist while a haunting hologram girl sits in bed watching from her own television set. He's under surveillance—the crew is watching, hologram girl is watching, and the reporter is talking at him, so he dips into mental absence. The Weeknd continues to slip back into his alternate stripper world where the lights are flashing, the strippers don't get tired, the décor is decadent, and he can do the watching himself, with a camcorder in hand, of course. The line between what's real and what's imagined is blurred, but one thing is clear—this video is definitely NSFW."[19]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
AnyDecentMusic? 8.1/10[20]
Metacritic 79/100[21]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[22]
Entertainment Weekly B+[23]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[24]
The Irish Times 4/5 stars[25]
Mojo 4/5 stars[26]
The Observer 4/5 stars[27]
Pitchfork 8.5/10[28]
PopMatters 8/10[29]
Rolling Stone 2.5/5 stars[30]
Uncut 8/10[31]

Trilogy received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 79, based on 19 reviews.[21] John Calvert of Fact dubbed it "an r'n'b album with few equals in terms of narrational ambition".[32] Oliver Keens of Time Out wrote that The Weeknd "communicates" his character "so engagingly on Trilogy" and found him "riveting when he juxtaposes debauchery with a delivery that finds him numb and on the verge of tears".[33] Killian Fox of The Observer felt that the mixtapes' "production sounded great to start with" and that the "new material is unexceptional", but ultimately stated, "if you didn't pick up the mixtapes when they were going free, and can handle 160 minutes of beautifully crafted nihilism, this is an essential buy."[27] Although he found the new songs "arbitrary in terms of sequencing", Pitchfork's Ian Cohen cited the compilation as "some of the best music of the young decade; judging by its already pervasive influence, it's safe to say Trilogy (or at least House of Balloons) will be one of those records that will be viewed as a turning point when we look at the 2010s as a whole."[28]

In a mixed review, AllMusic's Andy Kellman felt that, despite moments when he is "distinctively gripping," The Weeknd lacks "restraint, as he is prone to repetitious whining that is more young boy than young Keith Sweat". Kellman wrote that "now that he's with a label, he'll hopefully get some kind of filter that enables him to fulfill the promise heard in these 160 minutes of one-dimensional, occasionally exhilarating overindulgence ... His potential is as obvious as his lyrics are toxic."[22] Kevin Ritchie of Now found the music "impressive", but found the "lyrical ambivalence" to be "a bit one-note" by the album's second hour.[34] Although he found its "excess oppressive" when listened to in its entirety, Drowned in Sound's Robert Leedlum deemed Trilogy to be "untouchable" as a "comprehensive document of a specific moment in time".[35] Paul MacInnes of The Guardian wrote that its three discs "offer a rough trajectory of party, after-party and hangover, through which an assertive voice gives way to one that sounds more troubled", and concluded, "Trilogy does remove some of the Weeknd's mystique – lyrical formulae become apparent, and examples of engaging melody recede as the collection advances. Whatever its limits, however, Trilogy remains a striking piece of work."[24]

Commercial performance[edit]

Trilogy charted at number five on the Canadian Albums Chart.[36] In the United States, it debuted at number four on the Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 86,000 copies.[37] On 22 May 2013, the album was certified Double Platinum by Music Canada.[38] By August 2015, the release has sold 558,000 copies in the United States.[39] On 22 March 2016, Trilogy was certified Double Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[40]

Track listing[edit]

Disc one: House of Balloons
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "High for This"
Dream Machine 4:07
2. "What You Need"
  • Tesfaye
  • Jeremy Rose
3:16
3. "House of Balloons / Glass Table Girls"
6:47
4. "The Morning"
  • Tesfaye
  • McKinney
  • Montagnese
  • McKinney
  • Illangelo
5:15
5. "Wicked Games"
  • Tesfaye
  • McKinney
  • Montagnese
  • Rainer Millar Blancheur
  • McKinney
  • Illangelo
5:24
6. "The Party & the After Party"
  • Rose
  • The Weeknd
  • Rainer
7:39
7. "Coming Down"
  • Tesfaye
  • McKinney
  • Montagnese
  • McKinney
  • Illangelo
4:55
8. "Loft Music"
  • Tesfaye
  • Rose
  • Legrand
  • Scally
  • Rose
  • The Weeknd
6:04
9. "The Knowing"
  • McKinney
  • Illangelo
5:41
10. "Twenty Eight" (bonus track)
  • Tesfaye
  • McKinney
  • Montagnese
  • McKinney
  • Illangelo
4:18
Disc two: Thursday
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Lonely Star"
  • Tesfaye
  • McKinney
  • Montagnese
  • McKinney
  • Illangelo
5:49
2. "Life of the Party"
  • Tesfaye
  • McKinney
  • Montagnese
  • Adrian Eccleston
  • McKinney
  • Illangelo
4:57
3. "Thursday"
  • Tesfaye
  • McKinney
  • Montagnese
  • McKinney
  • Illangelo
5:19
4. "The Zone" (featuring Drake)
  • McKinney
  • Illangelo
6:58
5. "The Birds, Pt. 1"
  • Tesfaye
  • McKinney
  • Montagnese
  • McKinney
  • Illangelo
3:34
6. "The Birds, Pt. 2"
  • McKinney
  • Illangelo
5:50
7. "Gone"
  • Tesfaye
  • McKinney
  • Montagnese
  • McKinney
  • Illangelo
8:07
8. "Rolling Stone"
  • Tesfaye
  • McKinney
  • Montagnese
  • McKinney
  • Illangelo
3:50
9. "Heaven or Las Vegas"
  • Tesfaye
  • McKinney
  • Montagnese
  • McKinney
  • Illangelo
5:53
10. "Valerie" (bonus track)
  • Tesfaye
  • McKinney
  • Montagnese
  • McKinney
  • Illangelo
4:46
Disc three: Echoes of Silence
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "D.D." Michael Jackson Illangelo 4:35
2. "Montreal"
  • Tesfaye
  • Montagnese
  • Serge Gainsbourg
Illangelo 4:10
3. "Outside"
  • Tesfaye
  • Montagnese
  • Ahmad Balshe
  • Madeline Follin
  • Ryan Mattos
Illangelo 4:20
4. "XO / The Host"
  • Tesfaye
  • Montagnese
Illangelo 7:23
5. "Initiation"
  • DropXLife
  • Illangelo
4:20
6. "Same Old Song" (featuring Juicy J)
Illangelo 5:12
7. "The Fall"
5:45
8. "Next"
  • Tesfaye
  • Montagnese
Illangelo 6:00
9. "Echoes of Silence"
  • Tesfaye
  • Montagnese
Illangelo 4:02
10. "Till Dawn (Here Comes the Sun)" (bonus track)
  • Tesfaye
  • McKinney
  • Montagnese
  • McKinney
  • Illangelo
5:19

Sample credits[5]

Personnel[edit]

Credits for Trilogy adapted from liner notes.[5]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[38] 2× Platinum 160,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[50] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[40] 2× Platinum 2,000,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Ref.
Australia 9 November 2012 Republic CD [51]
Germany [52]
United Kingdom 12 November 2012
  • Island
  • Digital Distribution Turkey
[53][54]
Canada 13 November 2012 [55][56]
United States Republic [57]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Martins, Chris (12 September 2012). "The Weeknd's PBR&B Archive 'Trilogy' Gets Official Release". Spin. New York. Archived from the original on 13 November 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Wood, Mikael (7 November 2012). "First listen: The Weeknd's deceptively lovely new songs". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. "The Weeknd – Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Gill, Andy (10 November 2012). "Album: The Weeknd, Trilogy (Universal Republic)". The Independent. London. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d Trilogy (CD liner). The Weeknd. Republic Records. 2012. 3719793. 
  6. ^ a b c Hampp, Andrew (12 November 2012). "The Weeknd & Reps Talk Clearing Samples, Touring For 'Trilogy' Release". Billboard. New York. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  7. ^ Aspray, Benjamin (19 November 2012). "The Weeknd: Trilogy". PopMatters. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  8. ^ Alexis, Nadeska. "The Weeknd Releases 'Rolling Stone' Video, Trilogy Cover Art". MTV. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  9. ^ Krishnamurthy, Sowmya (25 October 2012). "The Weeknd Previews Three-Disc Trilogy". Rolling Stone. New York. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  10. ^ "The Weeknd unveils 'Rolling Stone' video and writes open letter to fans – watch | News". NME. 4 October 2012. Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  11. ^ "Watch the Weeknd's Shadowy "Wicked Games" Video | News". Pitchfork. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  12. ^ "The Weeknd Shares Haunted 'Wicked Games' Video, 'Trilogy' Track List | SPIN | Videos". Spin. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  13. ^ "Wicked Games [Explicit]". Amazon.com. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  14. ^ "Wicked Games – The Weeknd". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  15. ^ Lewis, Brittany (25 January 2012). "The Weeknd & Drake Shooting A Video For "The Zone" (DETAILS)". Global Grind. Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  16. ^ Genevieve Oliver (8 November 2012). "Video: The Weeknd + Drake – "The Zone" « PMA". Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  17. ^ "Twenty Eight – Single". iTunes. Apple Inc. Archived from the original on 13 November 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  18. ^ "The Zone (feat. Drake) – Single by The Weeknd". iTunes Store. Apple. Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  19. ^ a b Bolaria, Simren (15 February 2013). "The Weeknd – "Twenty-Eight" [Video] (NSFW)". Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  20. ^ "The Trilogy by The Weeknd reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved 31 October 2016. 
  21. ^ a b "Reviews for Trilogy by The Weeknd". Metacritic. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  22. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. "Trilogy – The Weeknd". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  23. ^ Anderson, Kyle; Rahman, Ray (16 November 2012). "Albums: Nov. 23, 2012". Entertainment Weekly. New York. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  24. ^ a b MacInnes, Paul (15 November 2012). "The Weeknd: Trilogy – review". The Guardian. London. section G2, p. 23. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 
  25. ^ Carroll, Jim (30 November 2012). "The Weeknd". The Irish Times. Dublin. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  26. ^ "The Weeknd: Trilogy". Mojo. London (230): 108. January 2013. 
  27. ^ a b Fox, Killian (10 November 2012). "The Weeknd: Trilogy – review". The Observer. London. The New Review section, p. 29. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  28. ^ a b Cohen, Ian (13 November 2012). "The Weeknd: The Trilogy". Pitchfork. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  29. ^ Aspray, Benjamin (18 November 2012). "The Weeknd: Trilogy". PopMatters. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  30. ^ Johnston, Maura (19 November 2012). "The Trilogy". Rolling Stone. New York. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  31. ^ "The Weeknd: Trilogy". Uncut. London (188). January 2013. 
  32. ^ Calvert, John (27 November 2012). "Trilogy". Fact. London. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  33. ^ Keens, Oliver (November 2012). "The Weeknd – 'Trilogy' album review". Time Out. London. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  34. ^ Ritchie, Kevin (13 November 2012). "The Weeknd – Trilogy". Now. Toronto. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  35. ^ Leedlum, Robert (14 November 2012). "The Weeknd – Trilogy". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  36. ^ a b "Trilogy – The Weeknd". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  37. ^ Caulfield, Keith (10 October 2012). "One Direction Tops Billboard 200 Chart, 'Twilight' Debuts at No. 3". Billboard. Los Angeles. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  38. ^ a b "Gold/Platinum – Music Canada". Retrieved 5 November 2015. 
  39. ^ Wilson, Carl (27 August 2015). "Billboard Cover: The Weeknd on Why 'Nobody Can Stop Me But Myself'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 27 August 2015. 
  40. ^ a b "American album certifications – The Weeknd – Trilogy". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  41. ^ "Trilogy by The Weeknd". iTunes. Apple Inc. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  42. ^ "The ARIA Report: Week Commencing 19 November 2012" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Pandora Archive (1186). 19 November 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2016. 
  43. ^ a b c d e f "The Weeknd – Trilogy" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  44. ^ "2012-11-24 Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. 18 November 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  45. ^ "The Weeknd – Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  46. ^ "The Weeknd – Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  47. ^ "2013 Year-End Charts – Billboard 200 Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  48. ^ "2013 Year-End Charts – Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  49. ^ "2013 Year-End Charts – Billboard R&B Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  50. ^ "British album certifications – The Weeknd – Trilogy". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 28 January 2017.  Enter Trilogy in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
  51. ^ "Buy Trilogy Weeknd, Alternative, CD". Sanity. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  52. ^ "Weeknd,The – Trilogy – CD". Musicline.de (in German). PHONONET GmbH. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  53. ^ "Weeknd: Trilogy: 3cd (2012): CD". HMV. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  54. ^ "Trilogy (Explicit Version) (2012)". 7digital. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  55. ^ "Trilogy : 3cd by Weeknd". Hmv.ca. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  56. ^ "Trilogy (Explicit Version) by The Weeknd". iTunes. Apple Inc. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  57. ^ "Trilogy (Explicit): The Weeknd". Amazon.com. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 

External links[edit]